The Los Angeles Lakers had a busy second day of free agency pulling off several surprises including stealing point guard Kendrick Nunn away from the Miami Heat. The Heat and Lakers have been in a bit of an arms race this offseason with Miami adding Kyle Lowry in free agency. Nunn turned down more lucrative offers to join LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.
“Free agent guard Kendrick Nunn has agreed to a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, source tells ESPN,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted. “Deal includes a player option. Nunn turned down significantly more money to chase a title with the Lakers.”
The 26-year-old point guard is just one season removed from being named to the All-Rookie first team during the 2019-20 season. Nunn averaged 15.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 67 starts with the Heat in his rookie season. The newest Lakers guard followed it up with 14.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists last season in his 56 appearances, including 44 starts. Nunn significantly improved his long-range shooting notching 38.1% last season up from 35% during his rookie year.
Nunn’s Signing Likely Signals the End of the Schroder Era in L.A.
The Westbrook trade started to paint the picture of free-agent Dennis Schroder’s time in Los Angeles coming to an end. With Schroder still remaining unsigned, there had been some chatter that Schroder could opt to sign a one-year deal to be the Lakers’ sixth man then test the free-agent waters again in 2022.
“Schroder is going to have to sit there and wait for things to develop to see where things go and where is Schroder’s home going to be?” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst noted on The Hoop Collective podcast. “Is Schroder’s home going to be maybe in Chicago with Billy Donovan where he played with him in Oklahoma City? Is Schroder’s home going to be in Toronto and that’s what brings me to this. …I don’t want to jump too far ahead in the conversation, but there’s always a possibility if he doesn’t get what he likes he could just take a one-year deal with the Lakers.”
Spoelstra on Nunn: ‘He Just Grinds & Works at It Every Day’
The Nunn signing likely eliminates this possibility as the former Heat starter projects to be the first Lakers player off the bench to spell Westbrook. If Schroder does opt for a one-year deal, it will likely be with a team where he has a chance to start. Heat head coach Eric Spoelstra cited Nunn’s competitive character as one of his best characteristics.
“K. Nunn has incredible competitive character,” Spoelstra said in January, per NBA.com. “He really does. He has a grit and a perseverance to him that not only do you have confidence that he’ll be able to respond with this kind of adversity, but you respect him so much that you’re, like, really rooting for him, and you really want it of him. It was great just to see all the work that nobody else does see behind the scenes. He just grinds and works at it every day, and then we really needed it [Wednesday]. We needed playmaking. We needed scoring.”